Where to File a Cruise Ship Lawsuit

Cruise Ship, Maritime and Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Miami, Florida & Nationwide

More than 20 million people worldwide travel on cruise ships every year. These luxury vacations often promise to relaxation and activities for the whole family. Unfortunately, accidents, assault, and sexual assault commonly occur on cruise lines. These injuries go far beyond physical trauma, and it’s important to file your cruise ship lawsuit as soon as possible because those “terms and conditions” you have to sign before purchasing a ticket dictate how and when you can file a cruise ship accident or assault claim.

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If you or someone you know has been injured or was assaulted by a cruise line employee or another passenger while on a cruise ship, our Maritime attorneys at the Hickey Law Firm can help. Contact us in Miami today at (855) 375-3727 for a free consultation. We serve clients from around the country and are located in Miami, Florida which is where many cruise ships begin their journey.

Who Files a Cruise Ship Lawsuit & Where?

You, the passenger, are required to file suit for an injury suffered on a cruise, or a cruise ship assault or sexual assault that happened while onboard against the cruise line where the ticket says you have to. That is, the ticket, which the cruise lines call the Passenger Contract Ticket, always provides a place where suit has to be brought or filed. That provision in the ticket is called a venue selection clause. If you file suit in any place other than where the ticket says, you are not filing suit in the right place, and your suit will be subject to getting dismissed. Additionally, regardless of where you live or where you traveled to, each cruise line lists specific districts of federal and state levels you may file your cruise ship accident.  

These venue selection clauses have been held by the courts including the United States Supreme Court to be enforceable under the law which applies to the tickets, the general maritime law. See, Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. v. Shute, 499 U.S. 585 (1991).

Understanding Venue Selection Clauses

The venue selection clause for each cruise line is located in the cruise lines’ “terms and conditions.” The “terms and conditions” are usually about 16 to 20 pages of legal gobbledygook and doublespeak. They are located on the cruise lines’ websites. No one reads them. Even if you did read them, you may not understand them.

These “terms and conditions” are written by lawyers with one purpose in mind: to protect the cruise line and to make it as hard as possible for you to bring suit against them.

Why Hire an Attorney Who’s Been on Both Sides of These Cases

Our founding attorney spent several decades representing cruise line corporations in these circumstances before switching to defend the victims of these egregious actions and incidents of negligence or wrongdoing. He knows the tactics they will use to seek a lower settlement or have your lawsuit thrown out and is prepared to seek justice on your behalf. At the Hickey Law Firm, our job is to cut through all of that gobbledygook and to make it as painless as possible for you to pursue your claim for honest, significant, and permanent injuries. Our Florida cruise ship accident attorneys can provide qualified representation to victims who suffered an injury on what was supposed to be a getaway.

For easy reference, our Miami attorneys have compiled this list of known cruise lines and the names of the ships in service of each company along with their terms and conditions for where to file your cruise ship lawsuit: 

Infographic goes over important information about cruise ship accidents.

American Cruise Ferries

This cruise line focuses on the 250-mile trip from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The ship was built in the late 1980s in Japan and houses up to 1000 passengers and approximately 60 cars. They boast a well-stocked bar, restaurants, and other activities during the 12-hour trip. According to their “terms and conditions,” you must file a complaint promptly by contacting the company Direct Ferries, but we highly recommend speaking to a cruise ship attorney before you proceed with contacting the cruise line directly.

The liability clauses found in their terms and conditions limit what you can and can’t seek compensation for when it comes to personal injury or assault cases. Our attorneys in Miami can help you file your claim with the right department, state, or country and ensure your rights are protected and you’re given the full settlement you deserve for your injuries and any pain and suffering due to the accident or assault. Your ticket also shows the terms and conditions, which mentions the Athens Convention of 1974 that defines some liabilities for the “Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea.”

American Cruise Ferries requires you to file your claim with State or Federal Court with Admiralty Jurisdiction located in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and ship names include Caribbean Fantasy.

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American Cruise Lines, Inc

American Cruise Lines (ACL) advertises a memorable experience, taking in the heartland of America all the way to New England and then down south to experience true southern hospitality. If you’re injured or assault while on board one of their cruise ships, you must file your claim in the Federal District Court for District of Connecticut if no federal subject matter jurisdiction then venue in New Haven County. According to the terms and conditions under section 9, you must provide a written notice of the claim within six months of the date of the accident or assault, and then file the claim within one calendar years after the date of the incident, and the ACL is served with said lawsuit within 120 days of its filing.

American Cruise Lines’ ships include:

  • America
  • American Constellation
  • American Constitution
  • American Pride
  • American Song
  • American Spirit
  • American Star
  • American Glory
  • Independence
  • Queen of the Mississippi
  • Queen of the West

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Azamara Club Cruises

This cruise line started the premium, luxury cruise ship line in 2007. They have three ships that follow several routes so you can enjoy numerous European cities and countries. Lawsuits against Azamara Club Cruises must be filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami-Dade County. According to the Azamara cruise ticket contract, you must send a written notice of the cruise ship accident claim or cruise ship assault claim within six months of the “injury, illness or death” and the lawsuit must be filed within one year. Once the lawsuit has commenced, Azamara Club Cruises must be served within 120 days of its filing.

Azamara Club Cruises has these ships:

  • Azamara Journey
  • Azamara Pursuit
  • Azamara Quest

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Bahamas Paradise Cruise (Formerly known as Celebration Cruise)

This cruise line offers travel from Palm Beach, Florida to Grand Bahama Island and provides onboard meals, entertainment, nightlife, casino, spa and salon, and activities for children. While these options sound enticing, like other cruise lines, it’s common for accidents to happen onboard such as slip and fall accidents and activity injuries. Additionally, cruise ships often don’t do thorough background checks on employees, which can put you in danger while on your vacation.

Cruise ship accident claims for Bahama Paradise Cruises must be filed in The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Broward County. According to the cruise ticket contract, the timeline for filing a personal injury lawsuit or sexual assault/assault claim is similar to ones listed above.

You have:

  • Six months to provide a written notice of the claim.
  • One year to file the lawsuit.
  • 120 days after filing to serve the cruise line with documents.

There are just two ships in the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line: Grand Celebration and Grand Classica.

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Carnival Cruise Lines

Cruise ship accident and assault claims on Carnival Cruise Lines must be filed in The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami-Dade County. Carnival is one of the most popular cruise lines, and you’ve likely seen the commercials that promise a relaxing, fun vacation for the whole family. However, accidents onboard such as head injury, slip and falls, broken bones, back injury, loss of limb, sexual assault, assault, and other injuries occur on all cruise lines. Carnival also owns other cruise ships including Costa, Princess, Seabourn, Cunard, and Holland America Line.

The Carnival ticket contract is slightly different than the others and involves:

  • Full details in writing delivered within 185 days of the injury or death
  • Lawsuit must be filed within one year of the event
  • Claim must be served to the appropriate Carnival department within 120 days of filing the lawsuit.

Unless those time restrictions are met, you can’t sue for liability for any personal injuries, form of assault, or wrongful death. That’s why it’s essential to contact our Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys in Miami so we can work to make sure you get the full amount of compensation you’re due and to seek justice on behalf of victims.

Carnival Cruise Lines has many ships under its umbrella including:

  • Carnival Breeze
  • Carnival Conquest
  • Carnival Dream
  • Carnival Ecstasy
  • Carnival Elation
  • Carnival Fantasy
  • Carnival Fascination
  • Carnival Freedom
  • Carnival Glory
  • Carnival Horizon 
  • Carnival Imagination
  • Carnival Inspiration
  • Carnival Legend
  • Carnival Liberty
  • Carnival Magic
  • Carnival Miracle
  • Carnival Panorama
  • Carnival Paradise
  • Carnival Pride
  • Carnival Sensation
  • Carnival Sunshine
  • Carnival Triumph
  • Carnival Valor
  • Carnival Victory
  • Carnival Vista

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Celebrity Cruise Lines

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami-Dade County (Cruise Ticket Contract)

  • Celebrity Constellation
  • Celebrity Eclipse
  • Celebrity Edge
  • Celebrity Equinox
  • Celebrity Flora
  • Celebrity Infinity
  • Celebrity Millennium
  • Celebrity Reflection
  • Celebrity Silhouette
  • Celebrity Solstice
  • Celebrity Summit
  • Celebrity Xpedition
  • Celebrity Xperience
  • Celebrity Xploration

Costa Crociere

Courts of Genoa, Italy (Passage Ticket Contract)

  • Costa Deliziosa
  • Costa Diadema
  • Costa Fascinosa
  • Costa Favolosa
  • Costa Luminosa
  • Costa Magica
  • Costa Mediterranea
  • Costa neoRiviera
  • Costa neoRomantica
  • Costa neoClassica
  • Costa Pacifica
  • Costa Smeralda
  • Costa Victoria
  • Costs Fascinosa

Crystal Cruises

The United States District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles (Terms and Conditions)

  • Crystal Serenity
  • Crystal Symphony

Cunard Line

County of Los Angeles, California (Passage Contract)

  • Queen Elizabeth
  • Queen Mary 2
  • Queen Victoria

Disney Cruise Line

The United States District Court, Middle District of Florida Orlando Division in Brevard County (Cruise Ticket Contract)

  • Disney Dream
  • Disney Fantasy
  • Disney Magic
  • Disney Wonder

Holland America

The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle (Cruise Contract)

  • ms Amsterdam
  • ms Eurodam
  • ms Koningsdam
  • ms Maasdam
  • ms Nieuw Amsterdam
  • ms Nieuw Statendam
  • ms Noordam
  • ms Oosterdam
  • ms Prinsendam
  • ms Rotterdam
  • ms Veendam
  • ms Volendam
  • ms Westerdam
  • ms Zaandam
  • ms Zuiderdam

MSC Cruises

For voyages that include a port in the US: The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Ft. Lauderdale, Broward County

For voyages that do not include a port in the US: Courts of Naples, Italy (Terms and Conditions)

  • MSC Armonia
  • MSC Bellissima
  • MSC Divina
  • MSC Fantasia
  • MSC Lirica
  • MSC Magnifica
  • MSC Meraviglia
  • MSC Musica
  • MSC Opera
  • MSC Orchestra
  • MSC Poesia
  • MSC Preziosa
  • MSC Seaside
  • MSC Seaview
  • MSC Sinfonia
  • MSC Splendida

Norwegian Cruise Lines

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami-Dade County (Ticket Contract)

  • Norwegian Bliss
  • Norwegian Breakaway
  • Norwegian Dawn
  • Norwegian Epic
  • Norwegian Escape
  • Norwegian Gem
  • Norwegian Getaway
  • Norwegian Jade
  • Norwegian Jewel
  • Norwegian Joy
  • Norwegian Pearl
  • Norwegian Sky
  • Norwegian Spirit
  • Norwegian Star
  • Norwegian Sun
  • Pride of America

Oceania Cruises

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami-Dade County (Guest Ticket Contract)

  • Insignia
  • Marina
  • Nautica
  • Regatta
  • Riviera
  • Sirena

Pearl Seas Cruises

United States District Court for the District of Connecticut in New Haven County (Terms and Conditions)

  • Pearl Mist

Princess Cruises

County of Los Angeles, California (Passage Contract)

  • Caribbean Princess
  • Coral Princess
  • Crown Princess
  • Diamond Princess
  • Emerald Princess
  • Golden Princess
  • Grand Princess
  • Island Princess
  • Majestic Princess
  • Pacific Princess
  • Regal Princess
  • Royal Princess
  • Ruby Princess
  • Sapphire Princess
  • Sea Princess
  • Sky Princess
  • Star Princess
  • Sun Princess

Regent Seven Seas

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami-Dade County (Ticket Contract)

  • Seven Seas Explorer
  • Seven Seas Mariner
  • Seven Seas Navigator
  • Seven Seas Voyager

Royal Caribbean Cruises

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami-Dade County (Cruise Ticket Contract)

  • Adventure of the Seas
  • Allure of the Seas
  • Anthem of the Seas
  • Brilliance of the Seas
  • Empress of the Seas
  • Enchantment of the Seas
  • Explorer of the Seas
  • Freedom of the Seas
  • Grandeur of the Seas
  • Harmony of the Seas
  • Independence of the Seas
  • Jewel of the Seas
  • Legend of the Seas
  • Liberty of the Seas
  • Majesty of the Seas
  • Mariner of the Seas
  • Monarch of the Seas
  • Navigator of the Seas
  • Oasis of the Seas
  • Ovation of the Seas
  • Quantum of the Seas
  • Radiance of the Seas
  • Rhapsody of the Seas
  • Serenade of the Seas
  • Splendour of the Seas
  • Symphony of the Seas
  • Vision of the Seas
  • Voyager of the Seas

Seabourn (The Yachts of Seabourn)

The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle (Cruise Contract)

  • Seabourn Encore
  • Seabourn Odyssey
  • Seabourn Ovation
  • Seabourn Quest
  • Seabourn Sojoum

Seadream Yacht Club 

The Asker and Baerum District Court, Norway (Terms and Conditions)

  • Seadream I
  • Seadream II

Silversea Cruises

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Ft. Lauderdale, Broward County (Terms and Conditions)

  • Silver Cloud Expedition
  • Silver Discoverer
  • Silver Explorer
  • Silver Galapagos
  • Silver Muse
  • Silver Shadow
  • Silver Spirit
  • Silver Whisper
  • Silver Wind

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County, Van Nuys District (Terms and Conditions)

  • Queen Isabel
  • River Countess
  • River Duchess
  • River Empress
  • River Princess
  • River Queen
  • S.S. Antoinette
  • S.S. Beatrice
  • S.S. Bon Voyage (previously S.S. Royale)
  • S.S. Catherine
  • S.S. Joie de Vivre
  • S.S. Maria Theresa
  • River Tosca
  • Mekong Navigator
  • Ganges Voyager II
  • River Victoria
  • Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer

Victory Casino Cruises

Orlando, Florida (Brevard County)

  • Victory I

Viking Ocean Cruises and Viking River Cruises 

If the ship touched a US port: United States District Court for the Central District of California (Los Angeles, California)

If the ship did not touch a US port: Civil Court of the Canton of Baselstadt (Zivilgericht Basel-Stadt, Switzerland)
Passenger Ticket Contract

  • Viking Jupiter
  • Viking Orion
  • Viking Sea
  • Viking Sky
  • Viking Star
  • Viking Sun
  • Viking Venus

Windstar Cruises

United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle (Passage Contract)

  • Wind Surf
  • Wind Spirit
  • Wind Star
  • Star Pride
  • Star Breeze
  • Star Legend

Schedule Your Cruise Ship Accident Consultation in Miami

If you or someone you know was injured, assaulted or lost a loved one on a cruise ship, there are several ways you can seek compensation with the help of our cruise ship accident attorneys at the Hickey Law Firm. Contact us today at (855) 375-3727 for a FREE consultation. We serve clients nationwide and are located in Miami, Florida.

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